Hitler issues Directive No. 6 for the conduct of the war

Item 3.b mentions Belgium and Northern France to be used as a base for the air war against England.

The Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.

Berlin. 9th October, 1939. 8 copies

Directive No. 6 For The Conduct Of The War

  1. Should it become evident in the near future that England, and, under her influence, France also, are not disposed to bring the war to an end, I have decided, without further loss of time, to go over to the offensive.
  2. Any further delay will not only entail the end of Belgian and perhaps of Dutch neutrality, to the advantage of the Allies; it will also increasingly strengthen the military power of the enemy, reduce the confidence of neutral nations in Germany's final victory, and make it more difficult to bring Italy into the war on our side as a full ally.
  3. I therefore issue the following orders for the further conduct of military operations:
    1. An offensive will be planned on the northern flank of the western front, through Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland. This offensive must be launched at the earliest possible moment and in greatest possible strength.
    2. The purpose of this offensive will be to defeat as much as possible of the French Army and of the forces of the Allies fighting on their side, and at the same time to win as much territory as possible in Holland, Belgium, and Northern France, to serve as a base for the successful prosecution of the air and sea war against England and as a wide protective area for the economically vital Ruhr Basin.
    3. The time of the attack will depend upon the readiness for action of the armoured and motorised units involved. These units are to be made ready with all speed. It will depend also upon the weather conditions obtaining and foreseeable at the time.
  4. The Air Force will prevent attacks by the Anglofrench Air Forces on our Army and will give all necessary direct support to its advance. It is also important to prevent the establishment of Anglofrench air bases and the landing of British forces in Belgium and Holland.
  5. The Navy will do everything possible, while this offensive is in progress, to afford direct or indirect support to the operations of the Army and the Air Force.
  6. Apart from these preparations for the beginning of the offensive in the west according to plan, the Army and Air Force must be ready, at all times, in increasing strength, to meet an Anglofrench invasion of Belgium, immediately and as far forward as possible on Belgian soil, and to occupy the largest possible area of Holland in the direction of the west coast.
  7. These preparations will be camouflaged in such a way that they appear merely to be precautionary measures made necessary by the threatening increase in the strength of the French and English forces on the frontiers between France and Luxembourg and Belgium.
  8. I request Commanders In Chief to submit to me their detailed plans based on this Directive at the earliest moment and to keep me constantly informed of progress through the High Command Of The Armed Forces.

Adolf Hitler.

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